Sunset adds a warm glow to the mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina

Land of the Sky XXVIII Tournament Results

By Davide Nastasio

We are fortunate to live in an area where we can easily travel by car to several other states to play in tournaments. Last weekend, the annual Land of the Sky Tournament was held in Asheville, North Carolina. This is the 28th year for this tournament and 215 players participated.

It seems lately that the state of North Carolina, thanks to sponsorship from a local university and the Charlotte Chess Center, is living a golden period for chess. The North Carolina players are strong, thanks to a good scholastic program led by two strong coaches. North Carolina players can be real tough competition and this can be seen in two ways. First by looking at the Top 100 list for each state we see that North Carolina’s 100th player is rated 1843 while Georgia’s 100th player is rated 1805. Secondly, North Carolina has many tournaments and frequency of play produces stronger players. There are many tournaments in Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham and many other smaller cities around the state.

In the Open section two GMs with a score of 4 points out of 5 were tied for first place: GM Elshan Moradiabadi and GM Alexander Ivanov. Then we have six players with 3.5 points out of 5, of which, from Georgia, in 7th and 8th positions are Daniel Gurevich and Michael Corallo, respectively. Damir Studen closely follows with 3 points out of 5. Damir played a typical Petrosian style tournament, winning 1 game and drawing the other 4 against strong players such as GM Benjamin Finegold and GM Sergey Kudrin. Finishing in 12th position was the young and talented Arthur Guo who won 2 games out of 5 and gained 32 elo points.

In the U2200 section, the winner was Emmanuel Carter with 4.5 points out of 5. The second place is tied by Wayne Christensen and Cameron Chandler with 4 points out of 5. And tying for third with 3.5 points we have Grant Oen from Georgia. It is important to remark in this case how hard the tournament was because, at 3.5 points, there were a total of 9 players.

Congratulations is due to Aviva Smith from Georgia who won the U1700 section with a total of 5 out of 5 points! Interestingly, the tournament organizer, Walter High, scored just 2 points out of 5 (and he has a secret tactic book!).

Five scholastic players did very well in the U1200 section. Sergio Fiorillo tied for first place with 4.5/5.0.
Katie Hill tied for second place with 4.0/5.0. And Sanjay Jagadeesh, Zachary Baumstark, and Danil McQuillin all tied for third place with 3.5/5.0.

I think the organizers did their best to accommodate all player requests. Wilder Wadford must be praised because he helped me book a room at the hotel. I tried to book the room more than 20 days before the tournament, but was told there were no rooms available. Mr. Wadford set it straight! And while Friday night’s round started a half an hour late due to repairing several times in different sections, the other rounds started promptly on time. The hotel is undergoing a lot of renovation and I’m sure this will be a beautiful addition to this well-run and attended tournament.

Land of Sky Pic 2                     Land of Sky Pic 1

Here few games:






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